Funding, Grants & Awards | News

Funds for Teachers Awards $1.8 Million for Individual Professional Development

Funds for Teachers has awarded $1.8 million in grants for preK-12 educators to pursue individual professional development opportunities.

The 463 grant recipients won the funds by explaining what they wanted to learn and where through an online application and were then selected by a committee "of civic, corporate, education, and philanthropic leaders," according to information released by the organization.

Examples of winning teachers and the development trips they will take include:

  • Stephen Howard, Phylecia Ragland, and LaVerne McDonald of Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School, "who will explore the British Isles' geography, cultural influences, and historic sites that inspired Byron, Polidori and Stoker's development of vampire legends to increase students' interest in reading," according to a news release about the grants;
  • The Harris County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program's Diane Palm and Shunn Rector will visit Senegal to create multimedia and cross-curricular social studies units focused on the legacy of the Atlantic slave trade;
  • Roxanne Binaso of the East-West School of International Studies will create a course designed to encourage students to compare their lives with those in poverty by collecting narratives and primary source materials from micro-financiers and entrepreneurs in the Philippines; and
  • Lowell High School's Alexander Schwarz and Steven Shimmon will attempt to help students understand Vietnam beyond the context of the American conflict that took place there by exploring the country's history of imperialism and synthesis of disparate religious and cultural traditions.

Since 2001, Funds for Teachers has provided approximately 5,000 teachers opportunities for similar experiences through awards totaling $17.8 million.

To apply for a 2013 summer grant, visit beginning October 1. Visit for a complete list of this year's winners.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].